How to NOT Break Your Lease

No matter what your reason may be, breaking a lease is always a grave and nerve-wracking decision. Before you throw your money for last month’s rent, you should explore every option with the property owner.

Start with a conversation with them

If you are displeased with your rental, or you must leave for personal reasons, don’t assume your hands are tied. Call your landlord, and set up a time to meet with them. If you prefer to do it online, as millennials do, get over it and find your courage and go talk to them in person. Find your words carefully and let them know why you must change your living situation.

Before you meet with your landlord, take a good hard look at your situation and see if you absolutely have to break your lease.

If your issues concern a troublesome neighbor, or a roommate is leaving and rent is too expensive, your landlord will probably work with you to keep you there and settle your concerns. Your landlord wants to keep you (assuming you are a good tenant) so they will do what they can to keep you in their property.

You have options

After you have told your landlord your problems and moving is the best course of action, it’s time to consider your options. Your options will be dependent on the size of the management company, as well as the terms of the lease.

One option is to simply up-size or down-size into a different unit in the complex. This can be a great option if you need more space, or if your roommate is leaving.

You can also check to see if they have a sister company, and see if they have any units available. Management companies often times have their sister-companies in other states, so you could end up transferring.

Don’t be alarmed if they still come with fees to transfer units, or complexes. It should all be written in your lease.

Ask up front

The best way to get out of a lease is to negotiate from the beginning. If you are about to buy a house, you can attempt to negotiate a mortgage clause. Timing is everything when buying a home, so it is quite helpful to be flexible.

If you sense there is a job waiting for you in another state, you could try to negotiate a relocation clause. No one can predict every life changing event, but for the ones you can, you best prepare accordingly.

Be thinking of loopholes to the lease, and ask management from the start, that way you have negotiating power.

In the end, breaking your lease could cost you, but it’s your job to know the lease inside and out. Familiarize yourself with it before you move in, and keep the possibilities of breaking it in the back of your mind. 

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